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Sad news at the water cooler – rumours are flying that elder-statesman of the online gaming press Joystiq are faced with imminent closure.

Tech industry news site Re/code, who are themselves affiliated with CNBC, have announced that “AOL is likely to shutter its primary video game site Joystiq,” according to “numerous sources” that are not referenced in the article, citing the reason for the impending closure as “an extensive house-cleaning of its underperforming content properties that is taking place over the next weeks.” There has been no speculation on the fates of affiliated sites Massively and WoW Insider as of yet.

Joystiq, on the other hand, tackled the closure speculation with typical aplomb:

‘AOL is likely to shutter’ Joystiq, reports Recode. Hey, wait a minute… that’s us! Well, we may as well handle this the same way we’ve been covering the video game industry for ten years.

“We do not comment on rumor and speculation,” one staffer told us, wishing to remain anonymous, preparing for their lucrative PR career. Others are still trying to figure out next steps. Another anonymous staffer said, “We’re still working until we can’t.”

Sources tell Joystiq that the staff is aware of the closure, but corporate hasn’t officially told them, so they are unable to acknowledge anything out of concern that it will cause immediate shutdown. We’ve reached out for more information. We will update, as we always have, when we know more.

Joystiq was founded as part of Weblogs Inc. in June 2004, as a gaming-specific offshoot of its tech site Endgadet and replacement of sorts for The Video Games Weblog, which was closing around the same time. Weblogs Inc. was subsequently purchased by AOL in 2005, and while the likes of Endgadget and Joystiq were allowed to continue with business-as-usual following this acquisition, a small part of me always knew that if AOL was to start wielding the axe, a plucky little video game blog wouldn’t stand much chance against the corporate machine.

Joystiq has felt ever-present in the online era, but this is a sobering reminder that it is not just print journalism that is facing the squeeze. We’re all secretly hoping this rumour will turn out to be unfounded, though, and until such a time as the rumours become fact (and security arrive to forcibly remove them from their desks) you can guarantee the team over at Joystiq will continue to produce the same great content they have for the past ten and a half years, right up to the last possible moment.

Dead Poets Societ

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
– John Keating, Dead Poets Society

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